Man with a Movie Camera

Man with a Movie Camera

I've watched this film twice today. At first watch, I wasn't really feeling it, mainly because I was too sleepy to care so. I initially rated it 3 stars. But I was willing to give this film a second chance after I took a very quick nap. It was only during my second watch that I was able to fully immerse myself on its beauty, and boy, it was actually a wonderful experience. I found myself in awe most of the time, grinning at certain moments in the film, and getting turned on by its fascinatingly beautiful musical score (The Cinematic Orchestra 2003).

Man with a Movie Camera is an experimental silent documentary film that follows a city in the 1920s Soviet Union throughout the day. That's it. No particular story. No actors. No spoken lines. Just a series of montages in juxtapositions and contrasts. But despite the lack of story tho, it's still got something to say about life, humanity, progression, and the evolving advancements in this world.

This film is most notable for its unique innovative use of every camera trick and editing in the book. We basically just get to see Dziga Vertov playing and exploring his camera (plus editing) throughout its single hour runtime... and it's really fascinating to watch. You can really feel his passion and immense joy while making this. His camera is the only character in the film: a casual observer on the wonders of life and its people. If you're an aspiring filmmaker, I believe this would be an essential film to watch.

sinegang weekly pick #19 by Ivan Arcena

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